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Commonwealth diag

Opening Plaques


Our fine opening plaques can be found in schools and colleges throughout the UK

Many of the opening plaques in our portfolio have been commissioned for well known schools and colleges such as Charterhouse and Wadham College, Oxford. Repeat clients have commissioned several official opening plaques over the years, reflecting their continuing trust and our close working relationship.

The opening of a new building is a grand and celebratory moment. Inscriptions are usually fixed indoors, using gilded or painted lettering and are often decorated with a crest or full coat of arms. An opening plaque is usually designed to work aesthetically with the design of the building.

Our fine opening plaques can be found in schools and colleges throughout the UK


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Royal commonwealth society logo
Historic royal palaces
Royal Albert Hall
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Trinity College Oxford
Latymer Upper School
Loydgrossman hires logo

Timing of the opening or dedication

Because an official opening or dedication plaque is often commissioned weeks before the event, many people find that they have left it too late. So the most important thing is to give yourself plenty of time! More often than not a member of the Royal Family will be asked to unveil the plaque and open the building, and quite often due to security reasons, the wording will be confirmed at the last minute. It is vital therefore that we always keep a good stock of material ready to be cut to size.

royal opening plaque details

Opening plaque wording and material

We are often asked for help with choosing the wording and material. It is crucial to get these right and if you have an idea for the wording and bring it to us, we can help make small adjustments to make the inscription work.

The material chosen depends on many things such as the location of the plaque, whether it will be inside or outside, the size of the inscription, and the lighting.

For Royal opening plaques there is often less opportunity to alter the inscription, and in these cases, it is crucial to make sure the size of the plaque and the material are chosen with the inscription in mind.

Commemorative plaque

Official opening or commemorative plaque design

An official opening or commemorative plaque is a permanent fixture. It should not look like a sign, but more of a handsome and alluring marker of an important occasion. At the same time, the architecture and interior design of the building must be taken into consideration so that the plaque does not look out of place or dated. My advice is always to be bold; go big and use the wall space. The idea after all is for the opening plaque to stop passing people and invite them to read it.

Slate gilded opening plaque

What do opening plaques cost?

Opening plaques will typically begin at around £4000 + VAT, but so much will depend on the complexity of the design, the material and the size, and the location. We will look at factors such as wall structure and fixings before providing a quotation.

Opening Plaque Frequently Asked Questions

Do you use a set of typefaces for your lettering?

No, every letter is hand-drawn and we are not restricted to any stencils and set typefaces. People often email us asking for the name of the lettering used on a particular stone, and while many of our letters are based on typefaces such as Caslon for example, we modify them to suit the stone we are working on.

Why should we choose Stoneletters for our opening plaque?

We are experienced, professional and above all, reliable. When you have an important opening ceremony planned, you need the peace of mind that the opening plaque will be in place on time and as promised. We always deliver on our promises, which is why we have so many repeat clients. Bearing the timing in mind, the more notice we have the better, as quite often we have to turn work down.

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Every member of our team strives for perfection, combining traditional tools and techniques with a fresh and open-minded approach. This is what makes us special.